Editorial: Robin snow heart and soul of newspaper

Published 9:44 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

Forgive me, but I’m writing this without my right arm, my left leg and without any heart and soul.
Actually, those limbs are still here and working, but it seems like they’re gone.
And that heart and soul has left the office.
For 36 years, I’ve worked for Robin. That’s Robin Snow, who is retiring at the end of this month.
I’ve never worked for the Enterprise Record. I’ve never worked for the Salisbury Post or Evening Post Industries or Salisbury Newsmedia, all of which at one time or another were official owners of the Enterprise Record. I’ve never worked for a publisher.
I’ve only worked for Robin.
Our relationship started in the mid-70s when I worked a summer job at the newspaper. Robin was already here, of course. My main job was to keep her supplied with cherry cokes from Wilkin’s Drug.
I must have done a good job of fetching those cherry cokes because when I decided to apply for a permanent job here in 1986, it was Robin who was in charge of the interview. It was Robin who hired me, took me under her wing, helped lift me up at my lowest points in life and shared in the good times.
We’ve conducted hundreds of interviews together – me with my pen and pad and Robin with her camera. It took a while, but I quickly realized that while not a writer, Robin was an expert at interviewing – getting people to talk. They would honestly open up their lives to her, barely noticing if I had asked a question. I think they sometimes even forgot I was in the room. There were several interviews where I didn’t bother to ask a question. I just listened and took notes.
We made a pretty good team.
Robin had that way with people. They trusted her. They saw her as one of their own.
And in Davie County, Robin Snow is the newspaper. She’s the face folks expect to see. She’s the caring soul they’ve learned to love. She’s the one they know can get something done when all other avenues fail.
Don’t get me wrong. Not everyone loves Robin. Not only has she made photos of us at our best, she’s the one who bravely took photos of accused murders and rapists, of crime scenes and tragedies.
She did it and she did it well. It was her job.
But she most loved visiting with Davie residents in their homes, talking about their lives and accomplishments, often sharing tears at their tragedies.
Robin always had our backs as newspaper employees. She stood up for each and every one of us, whether we deserved it or appreciated it. She was there for us. Always.
Everyone knows about the changes in the newspaper industry. Robin started with manual typewriters. All design and page layout is via computer these days. Robin started before the digital era, and quickly became a master in the darkroom. When she started at the Enterprise Record, there were 27 employees. When she leaves, three of us will be left.
She’s handled every aspect of this business and performed each job superbly. Her departure will be tough.
Who will kick unruly customers out of the office without a fight? Robin could.
Who will politely tell people that no, that is not a subject matter suitable for a newspaper story? Robin could.
Who will stand up for us employees when Big Brother comes calling? Robin did.
Yes, the heart and soul of this newspaper is walking out the door. Forgive us if we have trouble finding our way for a while.
– Mike Barnhardt